How to Grow Sunflowers

Few sights are more stunning than a field of sunflowers pointing their faces sunward, and few gardening experiences are more rewarding than bringing the beauty of the sunflower to your own backyard.


Up next in How to Grow Flowers (13 videos)

Learn how to make your garden grow with the gardening tips in this video series from Howcast.

You Will Need

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Knowledge of weather conditions and patterns
  • Sunny or partially sunny garden spot
  • Basic garden tools
  • Fertilizer
  • Garden stakes


  1. Step 1

    Choose a variety

    Choose a sunflower seed variety based on whether you want to grow giant 10-foot plants, medium-sized 6- to 10-foot plants, or miniature border sunflowers.

  2. Step 2

    Monitor weather conditions

    Monitor weather conditions to learn when the danger of frost has passed so you may plant your sunflower seeds safely.

  3. Step 3

    Plant seeds

    Plant seeds 1-inch deep and 6 to 8 inches apart, spacing rows 3 feet apart for giant varieties, 2 feet apart for mid-sized varieties, and 1 foot apart for miniatures.

  4. Mass sunflower plantings create a dramatic effect in the garden, while planting just a few among your vine crops adds a colorful accent.

  5. Step 4

    Handpick pests

    Handpick pests, such as caterpillars and weevils, during the growing season, and pluck yellowed leaves.

  6. Sunflowers are a favorite plant for introducing children to gardening because they are easily grown and require little care.

  7. Step 5

    Maximize growth

    Maximize sunflower growth by keeping soil moist and fertilizing biweekly.

  8. Step 6

    Stake sunflowers

    Stake sunflowers as they grow for stalk support when needed, and in 70 to 90 days you'll be rewarded with a gorgeous crop and nutritious sunflower seeds to share with birds, squirrels, and your friends.

  9. Sunflowers are a leading oilseed crop primarily grown in the Midwestern United States where soybeans grow poorly.